Friday, January 10, 2014

Avoiding "burnout"

I'm drawing today's blog inspiration from the list of 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers. Let me know if you do the same!

Today's topic: Avoiding "burnout"
 
All writers fear it: writer's block. No ideas. An exhaustion with writing so severe that they can't imagine opening up a Word document ever again. In a word: BURNOUT.
 
Thankfully, my “burnout” usually comes when I hit winter/summer break. 15 weeks of nonstop writing and reading for school can really take its toll. I always set all these goals of projects for break (working on that novel I shelved during grad school, reading all the fun books I haven’t had time for, etc), but realistically I know I’m going to sit on the couch and watch tons of TV while crocheting an afghan for three weeks.
 
AND THAT’S OKAY.
 
You need to give yourself permission to relax once in a while. You can’t gogogogogo 24/7. Sarah Dessen recently posted about scrapping the novel she’s been working on because it just wasn’t working and she was burnt out. That’s a scary thing to do, and I really admire her for it (both putting the draft away AND blogging about it). Taking time off doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human.
 
Sarah also posted a quote she found about how even trees go dormant during the winter…they aren’t meant to produce year-round fruit, so why should you expect yourself to? So true! And you’ll most likely be a stronger writer when you come back from a break. I do, however, keep a list of ideas and little things I think of while I’m on a break. That way I’ll have something to start with when I come back.

2 comments:

  1. I like taking breaks from writing every once in a while. It's nice to be able to watch endless crap and read trashy magazines without feeling guilty about the writing I should be doing, and I usually have tons of ideas ready by the time I go back! And if Sarah Dessen is going to tell me that taking a break is fine, I'm so listening…hopefully it'll make me at least 15% as good as she is :)

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree! Over the winter holiday, I took a break from writing and all my serious stuff and watched SO MUCH TV. It was great to let my mind relax.

      And I agree: If Sarah Dessen does it, it has to be right!

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